July 18th, 2008

Recently, I started to experiment with the technique of photo-collagraphy. I’ve used it primarily as an ‘entry-level’ method, with the view to attempt polymer photo-etching (or even the more complex photo-gravure) in the future.

The original images were created by scanning insects on a flatbed scanner. I deliberately chose not to photograph them in order to limit the conditions under which the image positives were created. Scanning also give a different depth to the image.

I used ‘Print-tight 73’. My techniques: developing the plates (eliminating dust, fingerprints, watermarks etc.) to printing the plates, need improving but overall the images came out quite well.

I did the cicada (shells) first. The plate was a little underexposed (i.e. too dark) – it could do with a minute or so more exposure.

Photocollagraph of cicada shells

Here is a detailed view of the print. The grain is from using an aquatint screen, which is necessary to create tones; otherwise the black areas will form open bites.

Photocollagraph detials

The second print is of the moth (by the way, I did not kill this moth. It was found dead and was given to me).

Photocollagraph of moth

If you look closely at the print, you can see that even the little ‘branches’ from its antenne have been reproduced in the print.

Photocollograph details

This site written by Jon Lybrook on making photogravures using polymer plates has been particularly really helpful in my endeavours.

Comments are closed.